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Here's why General Mills is dropping its '100% natural' label from granola bars

It follows the settlement of a lawsuit.
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Nature Valley granola bars will no longer feature the phrase "Made with 100 percent Natural Whole Grain Oats" on its packaging following the settlement of a lawsuit.

Golden Valley-based General Mills has settled a 2016 suit with three nonprofit groups: Beyond Pesticides, Organic Consumers Association and Moms Across America.

The groups had claimed that testing of the granola bars revealed the presence of glyphosate, a chemical found in Roundup, the weed killer made by Monsanto.

They argued that General Mills should disclose this to consumers, and it should no longer be able to make the claim the ingredients are "100 percent natural."

In a statement to Bring Me The News, General Mills said it made the decision to settle the case and remove the label to avoid "the cost and distraction" of a trial.

"Nature Valley is confident in the accuracy of its label," it said.

"We made the decision to settle this case to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation and to focus our efforts on what is most important to our consumers, making great-tasting Nature Valley products with 100 percent whole grain oats."

The settlement comes a year after a judge in Minnesota dismissed a class-action suit against General Mills in the same case.

The Star Tribune reports a judge found that the plaintiffs were trying to hold General Mills to "more stringent standards than the federal government holds organic products."

He also said it was "not plausible" to conclude the "100 percent natural" label meant the products contained no chemicals.

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A study earlier this month identified multiple breakfast foods and cereals contained glyphosate, which some health experts have linked to cancer.

Some of those cereals were General Mills products, including Cheerios, which EcoWatch reports has this week prompted another lawsuit being filed against the Minnesota company, this time by a woman in Florida.

But in a statement to Bring Me The News in response to the glyphosate study, General Mills said: "Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels.

"The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats. We continue to work closely with farmers, our suppliers and conservation organizations to minimize the use of pesticides on the crops and ingredients we use in our foods."

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